: Russian-backed separatist forces continue shelling despite Easter

11:03 May. 1, 2016

Russian-backed separatist forces continue shelling despite Easter

Ukrainian military servicemen control their position during a ceasefire outside Avdiivka, eastern Ukraine, April 16, 2016. (AP Photo)

Ukrainian soldiers under attack as militants use banned weapons

The Russian-backed separatist forces attacked Ukrainian army positions 27 times in the past day, the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) reported on Sunday.

"The most intensive attacks were launched in the Donetsk direction. Our positions in the area of Avdiivka, Zaitseve, Maiorsk and Luhansk were shelled from grenade launchers and heavy-calibre machine guns. In addition, 82mm mortars were used against the defenders of Avdiivka," the report said.

Read also Two Ukrainian soldiers killed, four wounded as guns supposed to go silent before Easter

In the Mariupol direction, the militants fired at Ukrainian soldiers from grenade launchers and heavy-calibre machine guns near the villages of Vodiane and Hnutove. Vodiane was also shelled with 120mm mortars prohibited under the Minsk agreement.

On April 29, the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas agreed a ceasefire starting Saturday. On April 30, Ukraine's representative in the Group Leonid Kuchma reported the militants had violated the truce on the first day of the agreement and urged Russia and Russian-backed separatist forces to observe the agreement throughout Easter. 

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